Here’s my recipe for macaroni cheese, or mac ‘n’ cheese, as they call it in the States. It’s an easy recipe to master, but there are a few pitfalls! You need to make sure the macaroni isn’t overcooked, and the cheese sauce contains no lumps. I’ll leave cooking the macaroni up to you, but I will share my fool-proof way of making a cheese sauce, without the lumps! I’ll start with a roux, which is the base to many other sauces.
As an extra tip, I would suggest using a strong cheddar cheese. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it packs more flavour so you can use less, and it turn, is better for you. Nice logic, eh?
- 180g macaroni
- 400ml milk
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 80g mature cheddar, grated
- 100g honey roast ham, roughly shredded
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley, to garnish
Begin by cooking the macaroni, following the instructions on the packet. Give it a good stir, so it doesn’t all stick together. Once cooked, drain well.
Meanwhile, pour the milk into a saucepan and warm on a medium heat, making sure it doesn’t bubble or boil.
To make the roux, put another saucepan on a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until there’s no lumps, and it resembles wet sand – that’s the roux done – continue whisking while slowly pouring in all the milk. If you keep whisking you’ll be left with a lovely white sauce, with no lumps. If you think it looks a little thick, add a tiny bit more milk.
Add the cheese and stir until it melts, before adding the ham and cooked macaroni. Combine it all together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls with a little parsley and grated cheese to garnish.
TIP: Take it to the next level by grilling in an oven proof dish for 5-10 minutes!
Tangy Mac & Cheese